Pieces (1982): Despite being directed by Spain’s not worst but close enough director Juan Piquer Simón, this misbegotten product of a very bad night between the slasher and the giallo genres is unfortunately only seldom amusing with the crazy you’d hope for from its director - though it does include a handful of rather wonderful moments like a random kung fu attack, and Lynda Day George screaming “MONSTER! MONSTER!”). When it’s not sleazy and bloody in a pretty damn uninspired way, the film is often actually downright boring, spending way too much time on the decidedly unexciting police investigation of its murders and on the sexy adventures of a guy named Kendall who likes to wear cardigans, very much like a porn movie that doesn’t know what to do with itself when nobody’s fucking.
Diablo (2015): Lawrence Schoeck’s fine western would
probably deserve a longer piece than this handful of sentences, but that kind of
thing wouldn’t be doable without spoilers so egregious, they just might suck
large parts out of the fun of a first viewing. Which doesn’t mean this is the
sort of twist film you’ll only enjoy on first watching (the film does after all
use his major turn quite a bit before the finale and does play fair enough you
might realize what’s going on much earlier), but sometimes, a first impression
is just too good to waste.
So let’s just say this is a clever and dark neo western that has a lot going
for it: a clever script, some truly grim moments, beautiful photography, a very
good very traditional for the genre soundtrack and Scott Eastwood in what isn’t
as much of a stuntcasting decision as you’d expect.
Regression (2015): I rather like what Alejandro Amenábar is
trying to do concerning the Satanic Panic of the 80’s and 90’s in the USA here,
but in practice, his film never really worked for me. My problem is that I never
actually found myself sharing in the increasing hysteria of Ethan Hawke’s
character which turned that part of the film mostly irritating, and of course
also undermined the film’s final act when the audience needs to share into
Hawke’s feelings regarding the truth of the matter or will only very distantly
appreciate the plot’s construction. As it stands, and despite some fine acting
(Emma Watson’s ever-changing “American” accent notwithstanding) and Amenabár’s
generally moody direction, I found myself watching the film with too much
distance, kept away from its emotional core.